Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The Rollin Furbeck House; 1897

The Rollin Furbeck home is a registered national historic landmark and an extremely important work in Wright’s transition from traditional to modern. Completed in 1897, it was one of two homes built for the Furbeck brothers as wedding presents. Frank Lloyd Wright designed first a home for George Furbeck, followed by a home for Rollin Furbeck, both of whom were married in 1897.

Early Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The Rollin Furbeck Home in Oak Park, Illinois

The Rollin Furbeck house is a three story design comprised of Roman brick with limestone trim. Located in the historic Oak Park neighborhood, where several of Wright’s previous designs were also built—including his own home, the Thomas H. Gale house and the Harry C. Goodrich house—the Rollin Furbeck house is considered to be of Wright’s highly experimental designs (at the time.) In fact, the columns located on the facade of the home may be one of the last remaining remnants of any influences from his previous teachers—in this case, Louis Sullivan.

The five bedroom home also features several art glass windows throughout the home, which would become a staple on many of Wright’s future designs. The Furbeck house is also the debut of Wright’s use of balustrade, which, like the art glass windows, would also become a regular feature in several of Wright’s designs.

The rear of the home is significantly more casual than the front, featuring cedar siding rather than brick and limestone. The stable has long since been converted into a garage and the port cochre, which lead to the original stable, has also been converted and is now a library. There are also many modern conveniences added to the home including an in-ground pool and a deck, which does keep in style with the rest of the home.

When entering the home, visitors will be surprised to see many modern upgrades inside the home, including a fully finished basement. It also includes a large master suite that occupies half of the second floor and comes complete with a master bathroom that holds a jacuzzi, dual sinks, shower and a bidet. Downstairs, the kitchen, which was featured on HGTV’s “New Spaces” show, has been upgraded to include professional grade appliances and a wet bar in the dining room.

The Rollin Furbeck House Today

Due to it’s high importance in Wright’s evolution as an architect, it is no surprise that visitors will wish to view the Rollin Furbeck home. However, it is a private home and therefore trespassing is discouraged.